While the incident between a celebrities security and a male who happened to be a West Point Cadet has been commented on at length at several different places across the ‘net, I also want to mention another fire I saw brewing from the moment I watched the footage. I’m speaking about the on-duty officers who stopped working long enough to take photos with the celebrity. Unless they were clueless of the incident that occurred minutes before, I think there was a lapse in judgement, if nothing else from appearances sake.
The Houston Examiner reports :
Two Houston Police officers have been disciplined for posing in pictures with a celebrity’s bodyguards after an airport scuffle that made national headlines.
A new criminal investigation has also been launched into the encounter.
West Point cadet Richard King, 23, is suing legendary R & B singer Patti Labelle after her bodyguards pounced on him in a videotaped scuffle on March 11th. King said his career at the United States Military Academy at West Point ended because of the ordeal.
Video that was aired on news outlets worldwide showed three of Labelle’s bodyguards confronting King in an intense physical struggle in which King claims in his lawsuit that he was beaten, shoved, and assaulted.
Shortly after medics took him away, the surveillance video of the encounter shows at least one Houston Police officer embracing Labelle and posing for photographs near a pool of blood that King had left on the ground in the spot where he was confronted.
Sgt. David Johnson has been given formal notice that he is being transferred away from the HPD Airport Division as a result of his posing for pictures in this ordeal. One HPD source involved in the case says Sgt. Johnson had gotten into trouble for the same thing in the past. (emphasis mine, ES) That source said Sgt. Johnson had been seeking autographs and photographs with other celebrities he encountered while patrolling the airport and escorting dignitaries through the airport, which prompted supervisors to warn him against similar encounters in the future.
For the full article click HERE.
It’s more the mentality than anything, and I take issue when it occurs on a protective detail in which the officer are involved. In many cases law enforcement may be used in an official (or unofficial capacity) by Executive Protection Teams, however compensation for that isn’t intended to come in the form of an autograph or a picture. Theres a time and place for everything, and more often than not, that request comes at moments that increase rather than limit the VIP’s exposure.
As far as the rest of this story. it’s unfortunate and one that i’m sure will be concluding in the courts.